A team led by Aecom will carry out an appraisal of the options in order to identify and develop initial designs and a preferred route for the new bridge linking Anglesey with mainland Wales. Aecom will work with sub-consultants Knight Architects and Ruthin-based environmental consultancy Richards, Moorehead & Laing.

A third Menai crossing will alleviate traffic on the two existing bridges over the Menai Strait. The Menai Bridge, built by Thomas Telford in the 1820s and Robert Stephenson's Britannia Bridge suffer from heavy congestion. The Britannia Bridge is also the only section of the A55 highway that is not dual carriageway and can be a significant bottleneck for traffic along the route, which links the M53 with Holyhead Port and is part of the Trans European Road network.

Aecom’s services will include a review of the potential impact of the proposed scheme on the two historic bridges to develop a design that minimises impact on the environment and is sympathetic to the existing crossings.

Martin Knight, director at Knight Architects, said: “This is a significant and truly exciting opportunity to create an attractive and functional new crossing of the Menai Straits. With Snowdonia as the backdrop and world-famous bridges from engineering giants Telford and Stephenson as neighbours, the third Menai crossing must be a harmonious addition to an extraordinary landscape, providing a valuable new link for the local communities and north Wales.”

The Welsh government had recently set out the benefits of a new bridge (link opens in new tab).

Work on the project starts immediately and follows Aecom’s previous assignment last year to develop a strategic business case for the scheme.